22nd annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) ended
on Sunday, November 24. Once again, Quebec’s biggest all-documentary festival
brought together devotees of reality-based cinema for 154 works from 47
countries, presented in 175 sessions, of which 46 were sold out. There were
also numerous festive parallel activities. This year, the festival had the
honour of hosting 115 international artists, who met their audience.

the highlights of this year’s festival was the strong presence of women, who
made up nearly 54% of directors of films in the program, for the RIDM’s third consecutive year of gender parity. Numerous activities
were dedicated to the new generation of artists: a new Canadian feature
competition, the Soirée de la relève Radio-Canada and the screening of a short
film from the Wapikoni Mobile to open each Canadian feature presentation.

forward-looking and mindful of the past, the RIDM presented retrospectives of Luc
, one of the French New Wave’s most creative filmmakers, Laura
Huertas Millán
, a young Colombian filmmaker based in France whose work is
both avant-garde and profoundly political and the Mexican feminist collective Los
. These special programs included two master classes.

With the opening and closing films, The Disappearance of My Mother and Drag Kids, setting the tone, many of the films in this year’s program focused on questions of identity, gender and territory. Present.Perfect. and Heimat is a Space in Time, the International Competition winners, took novel looks at China and Germany respectively, while Une femme, ma mère, winner of the Canadian Grand Prize, captured the complexity of a Quebec woman’s life since the 1950s. The Audience Award winner, Kenbe la, Until We Win, is an inspiring portrait of a Montreal-based Haitian activist. Also noteworthy was the screening and debate session for That Which Does Not Kill, a hard-hitting film about sexual abuse. Inspiring protagonists and politically aware films were the cornerstones of a 22nd annual RIDM that highlighted the originality and relevance of documentary cinema.

beyond the festival

are delighted to be able to extend the reach of films from the festival program
thanks to partnerships with Encore+, La Fabrique culturelle, Tënk,
FestivalScope, Pleins écrans and Radio-Canada. Starting at the
end of November and throughout 2020, selected RIDM films will be presented on
these six platforms. It is a golden opportunity to promote Canadian cinema
through FestivalScope, and to highlight the festival programming
accessible to francophones with selected films presented on Tënk,
Encore+, La Fabrique culturelle
and ICI Until December 9,
all of the short films from the Wapikoni Mobile that were presented
before the Canadian features in competition will be available on La Fabrique
. A selection of shorts from the RIDM will also be included in
the Pleins écrans online festival, starting in January 2020.

RIDM recap

(formerly Doc Circuit Montreal)took
place from November 16 to 20. Nearly 700 professionals attended the five-day
Forum, along with almost 500 guests, including 85 from abroad. With its
refreshed format, Forum RIDM was a clear success thanks to its study
groups and focus on co-production with Europe. 

professionals attended 19 workshops and talks, 16 networking activities, 6
grant sessions, 2 pitch activities and one rough cut session in which a
filmmaker and producer presented their film at the editing stage to a panel of
high-profile international experts. The One-on-One, Forum RIDM’s marquee
activity, brought together 94 decision makers and 146 participants for 1343
business meetings. 

opening breakfast, with British journalist Robert Fisk in conversation with Le
Devoir editor Brian Myles, kicked off the 15th annual Forum RIDM.
Other activities included discussion groups on topics such as international
co-production, distribution and the inclusion of under-represented groups in
the film industry. The new format made it possible to explore each topic in
depth, including discussions of concrete solutions. The two-year exchange QC+BY
continued with the participation of a delegation of Bavarian
producers in the Forum’s activities and in several closed-door workshops.

For the sixth edition of the Talent Lab presented by Netflix,several grants were awarded to francophone and anglophone participants: a $10,000 support grant from Canal D, an award from the ONF’s French-language studio valued at $9,000, one from the NFB’s English-language studio valued at $2,500, and a $5,000 support grant from CineGround. International decision makers came out in force, with representatives from Netflix, the Sundance Institute, Al-Jazeera Documentary Channel, France Télévisions, ARTE France, CNC, FICUNAM, BFI London Film Festival, Ambulante, Ouaga Film Lab, Sideways Film, Grasshopper Film, Women Make Movies and Windrose.

The 23rd
annual RIDM will take place in November 2020.

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